-Renee’ Ferrucci, Vestry ’17
(This reflection was offered during the 11:00am service on Sunday November 29, 2015)
Good Morning! It’s an honor to worship with each of you today, as it’s always been for the past 5 years I’ve attended this wonderful place. For me, St. Andrew’s began as a beautiful space to come every Sunday to take the time to worship God within a community. I felt welcomed immediately.
Carolyn and I attended for the first time during the annual meeting in 2010. Cathy introduced herself and invited us to the fellowship meal after service. We sat through Karen’s financial update with curiosity—she did her best to put a positive outlook on a challenging situation. We enjoyed the enthusiasm of genuine folks greeting us. Abbott invited us out for coffee. We never felt obligated or pressured to return. From that first Sunday, Carolyn and I knew in our hearts that we had found the place we were supposed to be.
We wanted to be a part of this community. Peace be with you handshakes quickly turned into hugs. Smiling strangers became friends who felt like family. We grew in our faith and shared our commitment– Carolyn was baptized here, myself received, and we had our union blessing at the base of these steps. In the spring, we’ll have our son Dalton baptized here too. The essence of our family’s spiritual traditions are woven into the faith fabric of this church.
St. Andrew’s is a second home to me. I love being here. I feel safe and hopeful surrounded by the presence of God. I want to witness and engage in all the good works of the people who make this parish a loving, supportive, and encompassing place of faith. It is easy to align my personal values with the mission of St. Andrew’s “Welcome people from far and near, to be together as a family of Christ to share the faithfulness of God.”
As a family of Christ, we celebrate together during times of joy, mourn together during times of sorrow and always encourage and nurture each other. Now is the time of year in which we are called to come together in prayerful consideration about stewardship.
It’s a time to reflect on God’s generosity in our lives. How has His abundance of gifts impacted our perspective? What has strengthened and expanded in our lives due to our faith? How have we expressed our gratitude for God’s blessings? How can we inspire our own generosity to grow? There are so many possibilities for the future of St. Andrew’s as we welcome new families and generations.
We all have something worthwhile to give back to our own community. We can donate our time, share our talents, volunteer on a committee, and say kind words. During our stewardship campaign, St. Andrew’s leadership asks for everyone to consider this—
What can you pledge as a joyful commitment to the future of our house of faith; our spiritual family? What does St. Andrew’s mean to you? How has being a part of this community guided your relationship with God? Your family? Your work? Your time in Nature?
The pledges you make can be anything you can spare to share. All pledges are greatly appreciated and handled with the best of intentions, prayerful guidance, and much gratitude.
My family has been pledging for the past 4 years. We do so because we want to. We do so because it feels right to give to a place which means so much to us. Some years we can do more than others, but we offer what we can as a testament of our thankfulness for God’s blessings, our continued commitment to our St. Andrew’s family, and our belief that God’s grace is very real and present in our lives.